Telethon on Aug. 1, 2020 from 2pm - 7pm on our website

Celebrate Japanese Canadian culture while giving back to your community! Join us for our LIVE online Telethon August 1, 2020 from 2pm to 7pm. Hosts Tetsuro Shigematsu and Yurie Hoyoyon will take us on a fun and heart-warming journey, presenting live performances, messages from festival vendors and friends, and opportunities to express your support for Powell Street Festival in its 44th year. Drop in and stay for a while! Tune in to our website with your family and friends to experience the spirit of the festival right from your home! 

The program features taiko drumming from the rooftop of the Vancouver Japanese Language Schoola Giving Ceremony to honour our connection to the Powell Street neighbourhood, a physical-distance-respecting Paueru Mashup dance, and performances from several local Japanese Canadian artists. Interspersed throughout the day, we’re bringing the festival’s sounds, excitement, and sumo to you through “Spirit of Nihonmachi, a 35th Powell Street Festival anniversary film by Greg Masuda. Visit our website for schedule and artist details.  

What is the DTES Community Care Program?

Over decades, the lack of decent, stable housing and adequate basic income for all have created a poverty trap and additional trauma that creates misery for thousands of people in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) every day. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these issues and shone a light on the need to ensure everyone has their basic needs met. Powell Street Festival Society has been growing our capacity to support low-income people and be a true part of the DTES community. 

Powell Street Festival Society’s DTES Community Care Program is a suite of social justice programs including: PowellStFest Community Kitchen, Hanami Cherry Blossom Picnic, Minori Harvest, the Giving Ceremony, and the Asahi Tribute game. These programs aims to raise awareness of Japanese Canadian history and culture, while creating inclusive, capacity-building experiences that foster economic and social equity for everyone. 

These programs provide meaningful and sustainable connection to the historic location of the early Japanese settlers prior to their forced removal during the Second World War. Through our practice of social justice through art and culture we honour this heritage while seeking to be accountable as settler-colonizers and acknowledging the larger narrative of displacement on these unceded territories of the Tsleil– Waututh, Squamish, and Musqueam peoples. 

"The health of the DTES neighbourhood is directly linked to the health of the Powell Street Festival"

-Emiko Morita (Executive Director, Powell Street Festival Society)

What is the PowellStFest Community Kitchen?

Starting in the fall of 2020, we are launching a new program called the PowellStFest Community Kitchen and joining the DTES Community Kitchen Network. 

Each week four peers from the neighbourhood will be employed to cook 200 meals for the unhoused and precariously housed in the DTES. The meals fill the gap of insufficient food for low-income community and the cooking program provides an opportunity for people to cook together, learn new skills, and build community. This not only provides a positive mental health experience but gives people the sense of gratification and steady income.  

$50 – helps provide 10 meals for people in the DTES.
$200 – helps purchase ingredients for 1 day of the program.
$500 – helps cover the cost of staffing for 1 day of the program.
$1000 – helps cover the cost of 1 day of the entire program.

Between now and August 1, 2020 help us raise $20,000 for our PowellStFest Community Kitchen program! You can support with a one-time donation and by becoming a monthly donor. 

Now is the time  to show our  collective  resilience, solidarity,  and community care  to assist those  in need during this challenging time. 

Share your support for the Telethon on social media! Right click on these images, save, and share on your social media to spread the message! 

Remember to tag @powellstfest #powellstreetfest  

Thank you for supporting the Powell Street Festival Telethon! 

Telethon MCs

Yurie Hyoyon

Yurie is a voice actress, her biggest role includes the Mobile legend character voice, which is a 75 million downloaded game. She has been a MC for poetry events for the poet Soramaru Takayama & Joy KogawaNikkei Matsuri, Nikkei Talent Search, and Cherry Blossom festival. She also does MC for Japanese company or community events such as MUJI and Okinawa taiko group show Chijinshu Wakatiida. 

Tetsuro Shigematsu

Described by The Georgia Straight “one of the city’s best artists,” Tetsuro Shigematsu tells stories across an array of media. He is an author, playwright, broadcaster, and filmmaker. A former writer for CBC Television’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes, in 2004, he became the first person-of-colour to host a daily national radio program in Canada when he took over The Roundup on CBC Radio. 

His solo-work, Empire of the Son, has played in 18 cities to over 20,000 people, and was described by Colin Thomas as, “one of the best shows ever to come out of Vancouver. Ever.”  His most recent work, 1 Hour Photo, published by Talonbooks, won a Jesse Award for Significant Artistic Achievement, and was nominated for a Governor General’s Award. Tetsuro recently signed a book deal with Penguin Random House to write his memoirs. 

Featured Artists

Featured Programs

Become a PSFS Member

Top-Up your Powell Street Festival Society Membership!

Buy a Lifetime Membership to the Powell Street Festival Society or a top-up which supports our work year-round. Annual Top-Up Members receive special discounts and promotions that can be used at the following businesses.

Kid's Camp

PSF Kids' Camp

PowellStFest Kid’s Camp 2020  – Activities at Home

FREE Program

As a Pre-Telethon offering, we are releasing an at-home Japanese-themed summer camp plan with bilingual resources for kids, ages 5-7, K-Grade 1. Minimal parent supervision required!

Get into the Matsuri spirit and immerse yourself in Japanese cultural activities during the 5-day lead up to the Telethon, July 27 to July 31.

Register by July 24, and you’ll receive a PDF Activity Kit, with daily themes and supporting video links, book recommendations, and suggested print material. These resources are structured like a 5-day summer camp but can also be done at your own pace!

Paueru Dance Mash Up

Learn the Festival MashUp Dance from the comfort of your home, and join the digital performance! 

Onibana Taiko and Company 605 have integrated classic Powell Street Festival sounds and gestures, namely borrowing from the traditional Tanko Bushi dance and Radio Taiso morning exercises, to create a fun and accessible collective line dance. This 3.5 minute piece will suit participants of all ages and experiences. We will be holding four interactive online classes through Zoom. Segments of the class will be recorded, and featured during the telethon on Saturday, August 1st 2020! 


Society News

Donate Now Through!

“PSF represents the JC community to me, traditional and innovative arts, different generations involved in all aspects (as vendors, performers, audience, etc.). The mix is important.” – Anonymous

Thank you to our donors, sponsors, and supporting organizations

Thank you to our 2020 Individual Donors: 

Asia Harvey, Barbara Pulling, Carolyn Yoshida-ButrynColin Yakashiro, Corey Bauch, David Yakashiro, Emily Yakashiro, Giant Octopus Restaurant, Jane Good, Janice Shimizu, Kathy Shimizu, Lia Cosco, Margaret Nakamura, Noriko K Matsuno, Seiichiro Fukumura, Sherri Kajiwara, Shinobu Homma, Strefani Yakashiro

Thank you to our 2020 Supporting Organizations:  

Arsenal Pulp Press, Baker & Table Café, Blim, Cadeaux Bakery, CatfeCOCONAMA Chocolates, Dollarama, Dosanko, Emily Carr Continuing Studies, Figure 1 Publishing Inc., Fujiya, Geist Magazine, Growing Room Literary Festival, Hapa Izakaya, Indian Summer Arts Society (Indian Summer Festival), Japan Airlines, Listel Hotel, Oomomo, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, Queer Film Festival, Republica Coffee, Simon Fraser University, Tama Organic Life, TEALEAVES, The Bulletin, The Cinematheque, Tom Lee Music, Vancouver Buddhist Temple, Vancouver Canadians, Vancouver International Film Festival, Vancouver International Writers Festival, Vancouver Japanese Language School, Vancouver Latin American Film Festival, Vancouver New Music, Vancouver Opera,  Vegan Pudding & Co., Vancouver Shinpo